A Wine-Tasting Tour of Tarija, Bolivia

Vineyard
Vineyard | © Pexels/pixabay
Harry Stewart

Travelers say they fall in love with Tarija for its leafy plazas, colonial buildings and warm climate. But there is another reason why this charming Mediterranean town never fails to captivate new visitors. Wine, and lots of it. Join us on a tour of La Ruta del Vino to discover this high-altitude epicenter of the Bolivian wine industry for yourself.

There are a number different ways to visit Tarija’s vineyards, most of which are situated just outside the city in a spot known as Valle de Concepción. The cheapest method is to flag down a bus and make a beeline straight for your favorite bodega (winery). The downside is that many vineyards open and close sporadically, and there would be a lot of waiting around involved. Those looking to combine excessive day-drinking with a little exercise can hire a bike and map out their own route. Most people, however, just cough up the 100 BOB (US$15) it costs for a private minivan tour, which visits two industrial and one boutique vineyard over the course of four hours.

Vineyard

1. Kohlberg

Wine Bar, Bodega, Wine, Beer

As Bolivia’s largest producer, the Kohlberg bodega is certainly picturesque. Unfortunately, however, it seems the company values quantity over quality, because despite being in the business for over 50 years there isn’t much good to be said for their product. If you do end up here, opt for the whites, which easily out perform the reds.

2. Casa Grande

Bodega, Wine

Barrel
© music4life/pixabay
Casa Grande is a mid-sized operation that specializes in making some damn fine reds. They’ve won several awards over the years and their bodega has recently begun including ethno-tourism initiatives alongside the usual tasting and vineyard tours.

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